IP Uh Oh

The Zynga Pre-IPO Alec Baldwin Effect Question: Answered, Affirmatively

alec baldwin words with friends e1323215410846 The Zynga Pre IPO Alec Baldwin Effect Question: Answered, Affirmatively

What's the term IPO MANIA worth in Words With Friends scoring?

Yesterday, the world took note of a revolution brewed in the skies—or ten feet from an airport gate—when Glengarry Glen Ross actor Alec Baldwin stood up for an entire populace of belligerent, gadget-tethered humans and revolted against the oppressive goosestepping of flight attendants who want you to turn your iPad off when airplanes taxi out of runways. He did it by refusing to stop playing Zynga’s ‘Scrabble’-copycat, Words With Friends. Zynga, as you might have heard, is the next large tech company about to IPO, to the tune of potentially $1B. How great would it be if Zynga got some awesome press before their IPO to help them oversell their company to the tune of $1B? Really awesome. So imagine how awesome everyone at Zynga felt yesterday when this all went down (answer: super awesome). But could something like this actually affect the way an IPO plays out as a company takes it on the road? Betabeat asked as much yesterday when we noted, as we often do, with the power of subtext:

zynga pre-IPO pr stunts?

We’re not the only ones to think this way. Via Bloomberg, whose headline reads ‘Zynga Gets Pre-IPO Boost From Game-Engrossed ‘30 Rock’ Star Alec Baldwin‘ emphasis ours:

This is phenomenal for Zynga,” said Pachter, who’s based in Los Angeles. “The problem for Zynga with investors has been that the average portfolio manager doesn’t relate to their games. This definitely helps change their perception.” Zynga took up Baldwin’s cause with Twitter posts featuring the phrase, “#LetAlecPlay.” “Words With Friends” is Zynga’s sixth most popular game, according to Appdata.com.

Baldwin was removed from a flight to New York from Los Angeles, the actor said on his Twitter account. American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR) filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors on Nov. 29.

“He loves WWF so much that he was willing to leave a plane for it, but he has already boarded another AA flight,” Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman for Baldwin, said in a statement. Adam Isserlis, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Zynga, declined to comment beyond the company’s posts on Twitter.

Realize: If anybody in an investing sector—let alone the general, non-corporate, consumer-level investing public—is stupid enough to put money into a de facto ponzi scheme like Groupon, surely, they will see Alec Baldwin’s belligerent endorsement of Words With Friends as a sign of good things to come, and put their money where their untrained eyes are, likely forgetting that this is the same actor who Kim Bassinger divorced and whose voice was heard calling his 11 year-old daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig.”

Alec Baldwin is not a normal representation of the Words With Friends/Zynga mania, which is crazy, but not that crazy. He is an outlier. Please remember this when investing in Zynga.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

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